Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is considered as one of the most complex childhood disabilities (APA, 2000). Children with ASD facing a wide range of symptoms that markedly presented as impairment in communication, imagination, social interaction, and restricted in activity, interest, and behavior (APA, 2013).
Indeed, raring children having ASD is a challenge for both parents; ASD not only affects the diagnosed children throw their life but also their parents’ life (Spore, 2012; Karst & Van Hecke, 2012). By the end, it will disturb parents Quality of Life (QOL) (Dardas and Ahmad 2014a). Further understanding on how caregiver quality of life will be affected will help to improve the quality of care in term of services and resources (Halterman J, Yoos H, Conn K, et al. 2004). Moreover, Operationalizing parental QOL allows care providers to quantify the degree of burden that parents experience (Halterman et al., 2004). So that more effective disorder related programs can be developed.
Quality of life (QOL) can be highly influenced negatively by the disease situation, however there are many factors that affect the way how they perceive. In this sense it is important to assess the quality of life of those parents and to identify the factors that influence them perception which ultimately affect the care provided to these children with ASD.
Because of the important role that parents play in their children’s psychosocial condition, especially during an illness, we chose to focus the current study on the parents’ quality of life (QOL).
There are only few studies carried out on the quality of life among parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Arab world. To my Knowledge, this study is the first study in Oman to gain a better understanding of the QOL of parents with children having ASD in Oman.
Oman is one of Arab peninsula countries with a high middle income level group with a population approximately 3.5 million , with 42.7% of its inhabitants being under the age of 15 (Central of Intelligence Agency (CIA)). The prevalence of ASD in Oman is 1.4 case over 10000 (Al-Sharbati, Al-Farsi, Al-Sharbati, Ouhtit, Waly, Al-Khaduri, et al. (2014). However, the prevalence of autism among gulf countries’ in general has been ranged between 1.4 and 29 cases per 10,000 people (Salhia, Al-Nasser, Taher, Al-Khathaami, & El-Metwally 2014). Factors such as lack of reliable “biological marker” and lack of health services for ASD children might contribute to that low rate appearance (Ouhtit, Al-Farsi, Al-Sharbati, Waly, Gupta, Al-Farsi, Al-Khaduri, Al-Shafaee, & Al-Adawi, 2015). While the country has a traditional system with the norm that the family is the primary social support system and the primary care provider, limited information have been seen about consumer and family associations (WHO, 2008). Earliest pieces of evidence point out that children and their parents have interrelated social and health needs (Tischler, Karim, Rustall Gregory, & Vostanis, 2004). Therefore, it is important to consider the mental health of the parents in the interventions proposed for children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders.